Why Phil Spencer says it’s important to factor in the landlord when renting a flat

A letting agent or private landlord, which will you go for?

These days there is a myriad of ways to find a new home to rent. From finding a property through a letting agents website to opting to go with a property managed by the private landlord you found on Facebook or Twitter. But which are should you go for and should it be part of your overall decision?

Related: Martin Lewis says everyone should be looking to switch mortgages now

According to Phil Spencer on his MoveIQ podcast, you should be factoring the landlord and how the property is managed into your final decision on whether to rent a property. However, if you are a bit at sea over which style of landlord and property management to opt for, he has a few tips for renters to help choose between a private landlord and a letting agent.

'The advantages of using a letting agent are they'll be experienced in what they're doing and they should understand property law,' the Location, Location, Location presenter explains. 'So a letting agent is far more likely to ensure that all the legal requirements are met, both by the landlord and by a tenant.'

man looking at camera

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Ireland/PA Archive/PA Images)

His other tips for renters thinking about going with a letting agent is that they have a physical office that should be open every day.

'There are members of staff and support staff, so if something needs fixing the chances are the phones going to be answered,' the property guru says. 'And as the tenant, you're not going to be the pain in the bum who's ringing the landlord 20 times saying my boiler needs fixing.'

However, while going with a landlord who is using a letting agent can have its advantages, there are positives to going with a private landlord. Namely, striking up a relationship with the landlord.

living room with black sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

One of Phil Spencer's top tips for renters going through a private landlord is to meet the landlord. 'If you are able to develop a relationship there is a mutual benefit on both sides,' Phil Spencer explains. 'If you know the landlord and you get on well then there is a far greater chance that they will go the extra mile for you if you want the walls changed or if you want to stay longer.'

'If you have a relationship with that person and there is a degree of mutual understanding and respect that can only work in your favour as a tenant,' he adds.

living room with floor lamp and chair

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme)

So, if you are new to renting and are looking for security and convenience, a letting agent could be a great way to go.

Related: Phil Spencer reveals his top tip for snapping up the best rental properties

However, if you do decide to rent via a private landlord, why not consider arranging a tea or coffee with your new landlord. It could be your ticket to a speedy fix if your boiler breaks.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.